EarthLink to Offer Dish, DirecTV Bundles

Internet service provider EarthLink announced today it plans to offer discounted DirecTV and Dish Network satellite television services bundled with Internet connectivity offerings in selected U.S. markets. Pricing, option, and details about the specific markets where services will be offered haven’t been released, but Earthlink says it plans to begin rolling out offers by the end of the first quarter of 2006.

DirecTV Vice President Daren Benzi said, “This partnership enables us to bundle the best television experience in the market with a variety of Internet services that deliver superior value and choice to the consumer.”

EchoStar’s Thomas Stingley noted: “DISH Network believes this partnership with EarthLink gives customers looking to bundle their television and Internet service a competitive alternative to cable. By offering customers a great value in television service along with EarthLink’s award winning Internet service, this venture gives consumers even greater motivation to sign-up for bundled service.”

EarthLink sees the move as a way to keep up with the market of cable and telephone providers who are building themselves up as so-called “triple” and “quadruple” threats, offering bundled packages of Internet service, cable and/or satellite television programming, mobile phone service, and other services such as pay-per-view television, Wi-Fi roaming, and wireless broadband. As an ISP, EarthLink faced challenges competing with bundled offerings from large carriers, but by being able to bundle satellite TV service with their Internet offerings